University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1864
([1864])

Colorado superintendency,   pp. 216-258 PDF (17.3 MB)


Page 219

COLORADO SUPERINTENDENCY.                     219 
The war on hostile Indians will be continued until they are all effectually
subdued. 
JOHN EVANS, 
Governor of Colorado Territory, and Superintendent Indian Afairs. 
A small band of about one hundred and seventy-five souls, known as "Friday's
band" of Arapahoes, came into Camp Collins, and have remained there
under 
the care of Agent Whitely, who was detailed for the service; and another
of 
the same tribe, known as "Left Hand's band," remained for a time
at Fort 
Lyon under the care of Agent Colley. With the exception of these two bands,
my proclamation, so far as I can learn, met no response from -any of the
Indians of the plains. 
On the 12th of July I received your written instructions in regard to the
disposition of the friendly Indians, and addressed a letter to Agent Colley
en- 
closing a copy thereof. Copies of these letters are forwarded herewith, marked
H and I. 
On the 26th of July Agent Colley reported the condition of affairs on the
Arkansas in a letter, a copy of which, marked K, is herewith forwarded, showing
no improvement. 
Every mail and messenger from the plains brought reports of additional de-
predations, and on the 8th of August the almost simultaneous attack upon
the 
stations of the overland stage line, trains on the road, and the settlements
for a 
distance of over two hundred miles, accompanied by the most horrible murders
and wanton destruction of property, satisfied all doubts as to the disposition
of the Indians to make a general war. 
The settlements in Colorado being yet comparatively defenceless, I at once
issued a proclamation, herewith qubmitted, marked K No. 2. 
I also renewed my application for authority to raise a regiment of one hundred
days' men for the Indian war, which was given by telegraph, and as rapidly
as 
it could be mounted and equipped it was put into the field. Several companies
of militia also responded to my proclamation with a patriotism deserving
all 
praise, one of which, under Captain Tyler, made a march of over six hundred
miles. 
Information received from Major Colley, through letters dated August 12 
and 26, copies of which, marked L and M, are herewith forwarded, proved that
the depredations were extensive, and the hostility on the part of the Indians
increasing. 
On the 20th of August Mr. Elbridge Gerry, an old and reliable Indian 
trader residing on the Plhtte river about sixty-five miles below Denver,
rode the 
distance from his home to Denver in one day, for the purpose of making a
statement, a copy of which, marked N, is herewith forwarded. 
Upon the receipt of this information, at twelve o'clock midnight, it was
in - 
mediately communicated to the headquarters of the military district of Colorado,
and an order issued placing all militia companies, and recruits of the one
hundred 
days' men, under the control of the commander of the district. 
Messengers were promptly despatched by the colonel commanding to all the
threatened localities, and by a proper disposition of the forces, and by
placing 
the people on the alert, what would doubtless have been one of the most horri-
ble massacres known in the history of Indian warfare was prevented. 
The Indians made their appearance stealthily at most of the points indicated,
committed a murder at one point, and various depredations at others, and
retired; 
and it is an unfortunate incident of this affair that Mr. Gerry, who gave
the 
information, being detained on his return, (in taking care of a friendly
chief who 
had accompanied him,) suffered the loss of a large drove of horses, which
were 
run off by the Indians the night of the proposed attack. 
On the 4th of September Agent Colley wrote a letter, enclosing copy of 
.d 


Go up to Top of Page